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Frequently asked questions about handyman services

What is a handyman & what does a handyman do?

Many homeowners like to keep a preferred handyman’s number on speed dial. You’ll probably need a handyman if you’re moving into a new home or remodeling your current place. Plus, small day-to-day household tasks and repairs can really pile up if you don’t take care of them as they arise. A handyman can tackle bigger jobs that require specialized licensing (like plumbers or electricians). Often, a handyman has carpentry or construction experience and has the experience and know-how to tackle a variety of projects.

A handyman can easily take care of painting jobs, small repairs, TV mounting, or hanging mirrors or art. Fitting new doors and adding shelving are also firmly in an experienced handyman’s wheelhouse. A handyman will make quick work of assembling flat-pack furniture (and when the job is complete, you won’t end up with a mysterious extra screw or a wobbly finished piece). Outside your home, a handyman can pressure wash your patio or driveway, and take care of small maintenance and gardening tasks. When in doubt, start with a handyman first because a reputable handyman will let you know if a specialist is better suited for the job.

How to find a local handyman in your area?

When you’re faced with small- and medium-sized household projects, it makes sense to call a handyman to take care of your to-do list. You’ll want to look for someone who charges reasonable prices for your area and is located nearby. Porch specializes in matching homeowners with experienced local pros and it’s easy to find a handyman who’s right for your next project.

Generally, handymen charge by the hour, with an extra fee for emergency or after hours jobs. You can ask a handyman to help out with anything from painting a baby’s nursery to adding shelves in the kitchen (and everything in between). A handyman can assemble furniture or pressure wash the driveway. You can even have a handyman hang mirrors or paintings. Clearly, a handyman is aptly named and their versatility to tackle many projects around the home!

Does a handyman need a license?

Each state has its own laws concerning licensing requirements around all aspects of construction and home improvement and repairs. Most states have exemptions around “minor works,” defined by a maximum dollar amount for labor and materials for a job. But even these definitions vary from state to state. These regulations are there for a reason: states are trying to protect vulnerable homeowners, which is a good thing. But it's also good news that handymen can do jobs many jobs without a license.For example, a handyman can assemble furniture, stain a deck, haul trash, and touch up a paint job. You can have an unlicensed handyman install a screen door or power wash your driveway. For bigger jobs, you’ll need to contact a handyman that is licensed in your state. Whether your job is big or small, Porch can get you in touch with the right handyman for your next home project.

What can a handyman legally do?

Rules around what projects a handyman can legally tackle vary from state to state. Generally, states require a license to perform construction or household tasks that cost over a certain dollar amount for labor and materials. Inside your home, a handyman can hang a new screen door or repair your old one. Assembling flat-pack furniture, mounting a TV, hanging heavy mirrors or art, touching up paint, and hauling trash are all tasks well-suited for a handyman. You may need to get the driveway or deck pressure washed and not have enough time or the right tools to do the task. Or you might be stuck trying to change the filter in your fridge, change out a furnace filter, repair drywall, or clean out a vent, and no amount of YouTube videos will help. A handyman will absolutely have the tools and know-how to get these types of jobs done.

Handyman vs. contractor: can a handyman do plumbing or electrical work?

Whether you need a handyman or a contractor depends on the size, scope, and type of job you need done. When it comes to dealing with electrical work or plumbing, a handyman can tackle smaller, everyday tasks, while larger, more involved projects will require a licensed contractor. For example, any task that involves working with the circuit box or wiring requires a licensed professional. But a handyman can replace a lighting fixture, replace an outlet, or switch out a light bulb in a hard-to-reach area. If a job requires changing water lines or installing new piping, a licensed plumber needs to do the job. But a handyman could replace a toilet or fix a leaky faucet with ease. It’s important to outline what your job requires at the outset of your project so a handyman or licensed contractor can let you know if the task falls within what they can do. It’s usually wise to start with a handyman first since they’re usually less expensive and easier to hire. A reputable handyman will let you know if they can’t do the job and a licensed professional should tackle it instead.

Handyman hourly rate: how much does a handyman charge?

There are no fixed rules about how much a handyman can charge per hour. Generally speaking, a seasoned handyman who has been working in the trade for some time and can offer the benefit of years of experience and know-how will charge a higher rate per hour than a newbie. Also, a handyman may vary the fee per hour depending on the type of task at hand. Furthermore, a handyman may include a trip fee for travel time involved in getting to and from the job, or for getting to and from a store for parts. Lastly, handyman rates can vary widely depending on where you live; typical hourly rates in San Francisco are higher than somewhere like, Sioux Falls.

It’s important to remember that you’re trusting the handyman with your home, so it makes sense to look for someone trustworthy and experienced. Additionally, it may be worth paying a bit more for a handyman who can draw on experience to get the job done quickly and correctly the first time. And you can plan ahead by using services like Porch that charge fixed hourly rates for handyman services.

Why use Porch?

Quotes for big projects
Compare pro reviews, licenses, and quotes so you can find the local company that works for you.
We do the small stuff
Porch Services can do lots of work for you directly. Easy to book, prices are fixed and upfront.
Text or call us if you need help
We have a knowledgeable staff ready to help with tips and advice along the way.

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